Your bedroom should be serene, stylish, and functional all at once, and making that happen is totally feasible—just make sure that in the process of designing your dream sleep space, you avoid major design pitfalls. So, what are no-nos when it comes to designing the bedroom?
We spoke with the experts who shared seven things to avoid when furnishing and decorating your bedroom.
Matchy-Matchy Bedroom Sets
Don’t simply add a set of pieces to your shopping cart and call it a day—the box set look is something that many designers will advise you to avoid. As Leah Ashley states, “Going that route can make your room feel heavy and shows a lack of personality.”
Isabel Ladd, who also urges against big-box sets, likes to incorporate a variety of textures and patterns into a space. “Make or buy a fabric headboard and bed skirt, and pair it with a textured nightstand,” she suggests. “Use a dresser that is different from the pair of nightstands. Consider elements beyond wood, like wrapped grasscloth, lacquered paint, or an antique mirror.”
Don’t forget to consider secondhand pieces, too, Ashley says. “Make sure to include a piece of vintage in every room in your house to bring some soul, even the bedroom.”
Decorating With Vibrant Colors
Leave the playful hues for another space within the home, designer Kasia Karska advises. “Bright colors are a mistake with bedroom design, this is because they can disturb your sleep,” she explains.
So, skip reds, yellows, and purples, and instead turn to pale hues—think greens, blues, greys, and more. Adds Karska, “Muted colors are ideal and create a more relaxing and tranquil environment, ideal for sleep.”
Improper Window Treatments
You’ll want to avoid leaving windows bare or installing curtains that are not sizable enough or hang too short, according to Ladd. “Window treatments are one of the biggest payoffs to decorating a bedroom because they are both so functional and can be so beautiful,” she adds.
Be sure to get creative as well. “Have fun with fabrics and trims,” Ladd says. “They'll add instant personality.”
Ladd notes that curtain hems should touch the floor. To ensure that curtains open and close easily, consider installing rings and a baton, and to add body, incorporate a blackout liner.
You’ll want to ensure that your bedroom is well-lit for late-night reading, but when it comes to bedside lamps, don’t purchase two different styles that aren’t the same height, BettyLou Phillips says. She also advises against hanging a large chandelier that overwhelms the space.
That said, “That bare bulb on the ceiling fan as your only bedroom light is a no-go,” according to Lily Karas. Thus, striking a proper balance between stylish and functional in the space is key.
Not Placing Anything at the End of the Bed
“What a missed opportunity,” designer Rachel Sherman of Rachel Sloane Interiors says. “Not only for added interest and texture but also a nice home for those throw pillows you toss off your bed before climbing in.”
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to settling on an end-of-bed piece. Sherman is partial to a bench, two ottomans, or even a small sofa. Kimberly Barr notes that function is also key when designing a bedroom.
“Don't forget about your storage needs, so you don't end up with unwanted clutter sitting on your nightstands and dressers,” she says. In this respect, a bench can help provide much-needed storage for blankets, books, or whatever else might need to be tucked away.
A Bed in a Bag Set
Just like you’ll want to avoid matching furniture sets, the same concept applies to bedding. “Beds are more interesting, beautiful, and functional with a mix of linens, instead of a matching set,” Karas explains.
Why are duvet covers so great? As Karas notes, they’re easy to change with the seasons and can be washed regularly. “Forget dry-cleaning that synthetic comforter for a fortune once a year.”
Neglecting the Space Altogether
Just because your bedroom is your retreat and not a public gathering space doesn’t mean that you can’t make it special.
“To me, it feels like a mistake to treat bedrooms as an afterthought just because guests don't usually see them,” Katie Holloman explains. “I often hear clients talk about bumping down their own spaces on their priority list in favor of the more ‘public’ spaces in their home—I think it's important to carve out a space that you enjoy whether or not anyone else ever sees it.”
In other words: treat yourself. Pick out pieces that will bring a smile to your face at the end of a long day or help you to unwind during stressful times.